Flu season is quickly approaching, which means moms all over the country are getting stocked up on Clorox wipes, hand sanitizers and other items for home remedies.
If you’re a second or third-time mom, you already know the drill.
However, if this is your first flu season with a baby there may be some things that you aren’t aware of.
What, where, how and when to clean certain baby items will cross your mind at some point during this season.
Here are a few items that you may want to keep at the top of your list of things to sanitize in order to keep your baby as safe as possible from unwanted germs:
1. Cart Cover
Grocery shopping and store runs are so much easier thanks to gadgets such as cart covers and hammocks.
Since this device is made to hook onto the carts at the grocery store, it should be disinfected after each use.
Especially when you consider that carts aren’t exactly the most sanitary after so many hands have been touching them throughout the day.
Thankfully, these are one of those things that you can just throw in the washing machine so it doesn’t take much to keep it sanitized.
After washing, store it in a clean place so it stays clean when it’s ready to be reused.
2. Baby Carrier
As a rule of thumb, anything that is being used out in public should be cleaned and disinfected after each use.
On some occasions, such as going for a walk with just you and your baby through the neighborhood, it doesn’t necessarily mean that you should hurry back to sanitize it.
It’s more when you’re around people and the possibility of some airborne particles lingering on your carrier is increased.
Or if for some reason you rubbed your carrier against a high traffic surface in public or at home, then of course you will want to wash it to make sure you don’t leave a trail of germy particles on your baby’s little nook.
Most baby carrier brands can be thrown in the washer machine without fuss.
This is one of those things that you should want to clean after each use.
Wiping down the handlebars with disinfectant wipes and using a disinfectant spray on the seat, cover, seatbelt, wheels and everything else should also be done when you get home and can let it dry after disinfection.
Make sure that when you’re spraying and wiping that you also have on some gloves so that you can really wipe things down without the possibility of transmission when you’re done.
Since strollers go everywhere it’s not something that you want to wipe down without protecting yourself from any lingering germs.
4. Diaper Bag
Another amazing invention that makes our lives easier but can be a pain when it comes time to cleaning and organize it, is your diaper bag.
Since you are most likely throwing your diaper bag on public floors, setting them on public changing tables and the floor of your trunk or car, this is one of those things that should be wiped down before bringing it in the house and washed often.
It’s just as important to sanitize the inside as much as the outside.
Binky’s and blankets are being thrown in there and you’ll want to make sure that your baby isn’t putting anything in their mouth or face that isn’t clean, which will help to avoid germs that may cause illnesses such as hand-foot-and-mouth disease.
Both at home and while traveling, toys should always be disinfected and sanitized.
If your baby is teething, you should probably be sanitizing more often since they tend to put anything and everything they can put in their mouth to ease the pain of teeth cutting through the gums.
Putting small toys in the dishwasher can save time and make it easier for you. With bigger toys, wiping them down with safe sanitizers throughout the day while your baby naps is your best bet to keep the germs to a minimum at home.
Be mindful of pacifiers and teething toys even if you are using a clip. They tend to fall and rub against surfaces that you may not be aware of.
Keep a few in your diaper bag in case they come in contact with anything that could potentially have germs, and wash them as soon as you get home.
Also, make sure you carry a separate baggie or cover for all teething and pacifier-like items as you don’t want them rubbing against anything else in the diaper bag.
6. Breast Pump
Technically this one is not just for baby but also for mom. If you have a breast pump that travels with you during your outings with baby or while you’re at work, this item should also be sanitized and disinfected.
Even if you wash your hands prior to using it, you don’t know how clean the surface is that you’re using to set it on may actually be.
Because air-borne particles also linger around, just to be safe, wiping your breast after each use is a good practice to maintain.
When you get home, you can break it all down and make sure that you throw the parts that are dishwasher safe in the dishwasher, and wipe the rest of the components with safe disinfecting wipes.
As a general rule, anything you take with you and your baby in public should be disinfected.
The more you get in the habit of doing it the second you get home, the easier it will become to make it a routine and keep you and your baby safe during flu season and throughout the year.
Another habit to start practicing is to check and make sure that your diaper bag is stocked up on a pack of sanitizing wipes, disinfecting spray, and hand sanitizers.
At times when you’re in a hurry, important items such as these tend to slip the mind which you can’t afford to slack on during the flu and cold season.